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DATE=8/25/98 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-237654 TITLE=U-S / NORTH KOREA TALKS (L - ONLY) BYLINE=MAX RUSTON DATELINE=UNITED NATIONS CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: TALKS BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND NORTH KOREA ENTERED THEIR THIRD DAY TODAY (TUESDAY) IN NEW YORK. ISSUES UNDER DISCUSSION INCLUDE NORTH KOREA'S NUCLEAR PROGRAM AND ITS CALLS FOR DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT MAX RUSTON REPORTS FROM NEW YORK. TEXT: THE THIRD DAY OF TALKS BEGAN IN THE SAME MANNER AS THE FIRST TWO DAYS ... WITH NO PUBLIC STATEMENTS FROM ANY OFFICIALS INVOLVED. DIPLOMATS SAY PRIVATELY THAT A FULL RANGE OF ISSUES IS UNDER DISCUSSION. THE FACT THAT THE TALKS HAVE CONTINUED FOR SO MANY DAYS IS SEEN AS AN INDICATION SOME PROGRESS IS BEING MADE IN ESTABLISHING AND DISCUSSING THE VIEWS OF THE TWO SIDES. WASHINGTON'S MAIN CONCERN IN DEALING WITH NORTH KOREA IS THAT IT MAY BE DEVELOPING NUCLEAR WEAPONS. JUST BEFORE THE TALKS BEGAN, THERE WERE REPORTS IN U-S NEWSPAPERS THAT NORTH KOREA IS MAKING PREPARATIONS TO BUILD A NEW, UNDERGROUND FACILITY THAT COULD BE USED TO MAKE NUCLEAR WEAPONS MATERIAL. NORTH KOREA'S NUCLEAR WEAPONS CAPABILITY IS CONSIDERED A HIGH PRIORITY ISSUE IN WASHINGTON, AS THE UNITED STATES KEEPS BETWEEN 30-THOUSAND AND 40-THOUSAND TROOPS IN SOUTH KOREA. OTHER ISSUES LIKELY TO COME UNDER DISCUSSION IN THE NEW YORK TALKS INCLUDE NORTH KOREA'S FOOD SHORTAGE AND ITS NEED FOR EMERGENCY SUPPLIES, ITS CALLS FOR DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES AND THE FUNDING FOR A NEW POWER STATION IN NORTH KOREA. THE UNITED STATES, JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA ARE PAYING FOR A NEW POWER STATION IN NORTH KOREA IN AN EFFORT TO MAINTAIN AN ABILITY TO MONITOR THE INFLOW OF NUCLEAR MATERIAL INTO THE COUNTRY. NO DATE HAS BEEN SET FOR THE CONCLUSION OF THE TALKS. (SIGNED) NEB/UN/MPR/LSF 25-Aug-98 3:22 PM EDT (1922 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .